Norwich, VT – Farmers and agricultural leaders from Vermont and New Hampshire gathered today at Norwich Farms to launch the Connecticut River Farmers’ Watershed Alliance (CRFWA), a new farmer led regional initiative that will work to sustain the environmental health of the Connecticut River watershed.
“Caring for the land, air and water is a responsibility the dairy industry shares with the local community,” said dairy farmer and founding member, Paul Doton of Barnard, VT. “The Connecticut River Farmers’ Watershed Alliance was formed to help farmers proactively address environmental issues, especially water quality, in the Connecticut River Watershed so that we can protect our natural resources for future generations.”
The organization will work with local government agencies, extension organizations, researchers and public interest groups to help farmers implement beneficial environmental solutions and understand changing environmental regulations, including the upcoming Required Agricultural Practices aimed at protecting water quality in Vermont.
“We want to ensure farmers understand the changes and are aware of the resources available to them, such as funding sources and nutrient management planning,” Doton said.
UVM Extension agronomist, Dan Hudson spoke about the importance of providing farmers with access to the latest research and technology they can use to implement environmentally sound practices.
“Farmers continue to be eager to increase efficiency and profitability while preserving environmental quality through innovative cropping practices and sound approaches to nutrient management,” said Hudson.
The kick-off of CRFWA at Norwich Farms, a recent addition to Vermont Technical College, represents an important commitment to agricultural education said Dan Smith, Vermont Technical College president.
“Ongoing education for farmers is critical to the health of this region," said Smith, “not only in the dairy industry’s ability to contribute to our local economy but also to contribute to the long-term health of the communities where we live and work.”
The economic viability of dairy agriculture in the Connecticut River Watershed is dependent upon environmental practices that improve the soil, air and water quality. The dairy industry encourages all sectors of agriculture as well as municipalities and others to join in recognizing our shared responsibility to sustain the environmental health of the watershed area. The Connecticut River Farmers’ Watershed Alliance is committed and dedicated to preserving the quality of our environment while maintaining a strong agricultural sector for the economic and social benefit of the region.
For more information contact:
New England Dairy Promotion Board